Total Recommendations: 12
Jintai and Kino are two radically different takes on a similar subject matter. Kino is a melancholy reflection on society's faults that ultimately portrays them as something to be embraced. Jintai is a vibrant surreal comedy that gleefully lampoons humanity's follies with no hint of sympathy. Consider them two sides of the same coin.
Two people love each other but can't fully express it to due the surrounding circumstances. I'd recommend all of Shinkai's work if you like Hotarubi, not just this one, since they all have a similar theme.
Nothing alike story-wise, but these girls get shit done through hard work and guts! You may also see similarities between the Sora/Layla and Noriko/Kazumi dynamics.
Obviously they're both about a group of cute girls, but the style of comedy is also similar. Much of the humor comes from the goofy troublemaker/jokester of the group, Kyouko/Miu. The two characters are pretty similar and pretty much drive their respective shows.
Mellow, slow paced stories about finding solace in another person. They take a character who seems to be on top of it all and slowly reveal that they're not as tough as they initially appear through flashbacks and character development. They come out of their shells and finally find the comfort they've been searching for in the protagonists.
Postmodernist fairy tales, basically.
Cute girls doing cute things with a vague musical theme. However, both get surprisingly emotional towards the end. They both deal with the growing bonds between the girls, and the melancholy feelings that arise as they begin to drift apart, and the threat of separation looms overhead. They both also have well-animated concert scenes, so if you like j-pop and sakuga, at least watch those.
Bizarre psychoanalyses of a bunch of fucked up kids. The plots both involve conspiracies of a higher power that those below them aren't aware of, there's also Freudian symbolism everywhere. Basically, Utena is Eva for girls.
Sad shorts with no dialogue that choose rather to tell their story through beautiful art and music.
Excellent slice of life stories where the beautiful artwork plays a big part in the delivery of the story.
Both provide a very serious and poignant look at controversial topics that are almost always played as fetishes in anime (crossdressing/gender identity in Hourou Musuko, incest in Koi Kaze).
Gentle slice of lifes that get dramatic towards the end. Both excel in atmosphere and world building. They also both have great soundtracks. Sora no Woto isn't quite as "deep" as Haibane Renmei, character-wise or theme-wise, but it's still got plenty of merit of its own.